Science Cafe: The Science of Language and Speech
The next time you have a conversation with someone, take a moment to consider how amazing it is that you are able to communicate a thought from your mind to the mind of another person, using coordination of muscle movement and airflow in your vocal tract. Spoken language ability is one of the characteristics that make us distinctly human, and the scientific study (known as linguistics) of how this ability is manifested in different languages and dialects throughout the world has limitless potential for examination. Come explore the complex and fascinating nature of how spoken language is produced, discover some “real-world” applications of speech research that you may have never thought possible, learn about tools that linguistic researchers use to study language and speech, and see just how intriguing speech articulation can be as one of these tools is demonstrated before your very eyes.
About Our Speaker
Dr. Christopher Carignan is a postdoctoral researcher at NC State University, where he studies the relation between the physical articulation of speech and the corresponding acoustic output in a variety of languages and dialects. Chris uses imaging technology such as ultrasound and MRI to get inside speakers’ heads as they talk, in order to explore how people of different languages and dialects physically produce different speech sounds. Chris received his PhD in French Linguistics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013 and his BA from Western Washington University in 2005 with a double major in Linguistics and French.